Jun 2, 2007

So what now? Part deux?

Good question... I've been generally being something of a lazy bum, but I'm entitled, right? I am so *not* looking forward to spending the summer doing biochem again.

Still taking little side trips, and reading a lot, at present it's Invitation to a Beheading, because I dearly love Nabokov, being an uber-dork. No cable here yet, but with any luck, Comcast will actually keep its promise this time and install everything tomorrow. One can only hope. Apparently, they promised my mom that two months ago. But... there's that whole out in the sticks problem.

But more about SGU.

You get acceptance and secure your loans. Getting there. I haven't tried to get there in August yet, but I understand it's more of a headache due to Carnival, which is on some weird "never on the same date in the same place" schedule that I don't fully understand. I used to think it was analagous to Mardi Gras, but apparently, I'm a moron. So Carnival in Grenada, for better or for worse, is in August.

So far I've flown American Airlines and I've sent my parents via Air Jamaica, so I'll tell you the experiences...

American Airlines... flying *to* Grenada, some people can sneak through over luggage allowance, but I wouldn't count on it. American Airlines officials will likely tell you that you can take two bags of up to 100 lbs or 140 lbs or whatnot, the problem being, they do not consider that they switch to American EAGLE, generally in San Juan, where you get on a commuter plane, and the luggage allowance is 70 lbs. I wasn't even close to it on the way here (thank you, mom and dad!) but on the way back from Grenada, they were so strict about there being a 70 lb cut off (and weren't letting students even PAY to bring extra stuff) that the counters were lined with the things students had to leave behind. To be thrown away. I'm not kidding. So pack accordingly.

Air Jamaica is accurately notorious for losing luggage, though you tend to get it within 3 days. It might be best to bring essentials in your carryon luggage to get you through that time, as they have that tendency to leave luggage behind due to overfull flights.

The good news is that though your luggage may show up 3 days later having seen more action than you have, you get 140 lovely pounds of it. Now, my parents flew AJ as mentioned, and *none* of the bags got lost. It could be coincidence, but I wrapped the bags in flourescent orange duct tape I got at Walmart, so it couldn't hurt; might help. Label EVERYTHING WELL.

I don't know much about Liat other than that on the way back from Grenada, they were better than American Airlines since THEIR planes left on time, but I'm told that's a rarity. I don't know their luggage requirements and I've never flown them, but I've heard some horror stories. Also, if Liat causes you to miss connecting flights, don't expect them to pony up for meal vouchers or hotels. They don't consider it to be their problem.

What do you need to bring? Hmm... There's a good list at ValueMD, but let me give you my impressions.

First off, your dorm room comes with toilet paper and a shower curtain. That's *it*. You want pillows? Bring em or buy em. Blankets? Same story. Cookware? Makes me laugh. If you can take friends or family to help cart your stuff with you in exchange for those lovely free SGU sponsored tours, that works *splendidly*, particularly if you are like me and are a diver/guitar player that needs your own stuff.

I don't know the quality of pillows and blankets on the island since I brought my own and then snapped the ones my roommate left (hopefully, for me), but I saw someone with a pillow she'd gotten at Spiceland Mall and it looked decent.

BRING COOKWARE if you can. Dishes and such aren't that big of a problem, but unless you hunt around downtown St. George's, the cooking pan selection at Spiceland Mall *sucks*. You can get a thin saucepot that isn't big enough for ramen noodles (honestly, it isn't. I bought it, and they wouldn't fit), or a giant, REALLY expensive pot that's actually the bottom of a pressure cooker. Frying pans tend to be overpriced and thin. Oh, and bring (in your checked luggage), good knives and good scissors. Again, hard to find, and expensive when you do.

Your room... I was in SD1, and there are pictures of it somewhere on the blog in January, which I'd link up if I weren't fighting a dialup connection. There are two twin beds, on wheels, two giant wooden lockers to keep your stuff in, a bathroom with a shower (no baths!!!! For months!!!), a two burner stove (no ovens), fridge/freezer, and a microwave. I believe that's the standard for all of the superdorms except in the triples where you have three people to a suite, each of whom has their own bedroom, which is pretty damn cool, and the kitchen is larger.

There are washer/dryers on each floor, and if you're lucky, a couple of them will work. I found the late night to be the best time to do laundry, but your results may vary. I also found it really difficult to find dryer sheets on the island, so you might want to bring some, but regular laundry soap is abundant.

You'll need a laptop; bring the receipt (or type one up yourself), as you will likely be charged an import tax on it that's 50-100 dollars. If you don't screw with customs, that will pretty much be the only thing they charge you for, so don't try cute things like putting it with other people, because as a student, they'll be looking for a laptop. Keep the receipt, as you only have to pay it once so long as you have that to show.

Once I paid the laptop tax, I didn't get charged on any of my other electronics or scuba gear. If have stuff shipped to you though, the charges on those items (I've heard up to 50% value!) can be astronomical, particularly on electronics, DVDs, and that sort of thing.

Uhhh... and that's all for now folks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's some good information. I guess every country has it's on hiccups. Hope you get to all the nitty gritty details of GreNAYda. What's study/class life like?

Starsky (new fan of your blog)
Vancouver, BC